Beer Man

Beer Calendar: Big Beers Fest Kicks Off in Breckenridge; Smaller Beers Tap in Denver

A real Colorado rarity: a closed brewery.
A real Colorado rarity: a closed brewery. 1933 Brewing
Two Colorado breweries closed their doors in December, which wouldn't seem that unusual aside from the fact that almost no breweries have shuttered over the past five years. One of them, 1933 Brewing in Fort Collins, will reopen under new ownership and with a new concept in a few months. Founded in 2014 by Cody Pisacka, the brewery is being purchased by head brewer Zach Wilson and marketing coordinator Laura Sickles, who plan to change things up.

No such luck for Zulu Brewing in Montrose, which announced on Facebook last week that it was going under. "Many thanks to our generous patrons and beer fans for their dedication and support over the last few months. We truly appreciate the opportunity to serve you. However, after much consideration, we have decided to permanently close Zulu Brewing. So until another day...we bid you goodnight."

Very few other breweries have closed in Colorado in recent years. Of note is Arvada Beer Company, which closed at the very beginning of 2016.

click to enlarge Ratio is tapping a new version of its Genius Wizard imperial stout this week. - JONATHAN SHIKES
Ratio is tapping a new version of its Genius Wizard imperial stout this week.
Jonathan Shikes
Wednesday, January 4
Ratio Beerworks wants to making January magical by tapping a keg of its bourbon-barrel-aged Genius Wizard (a Russian imperial stout aged eleven months in Kentucky-bourbon barrels) at a new location each Wednesday during the month. The first Genius Wizard Wednesday will be at the Ratio taproom at noon.

Platt Park Brewing will unveil a new IPA called Colorstorm today. Hopped with Rikau and Simcoe, the 6.5 percent beer has a "subtle apricot, passion fruit and pine resin taste and aroma," the brewery says.

Thursday, January 5
Bierstadt Lagerhaus will release its newest beer, a bock, today at sunset, which is roughly around 4:50 p.m. There will be live music at the Bindery on Blake, where the brewery is located.

Tivoli Brewing will tap a new batch of She's My Cherry Pie today at 5 p.m., along with two barrel-aged versions. There will be also be trivia and swag giveaways.

The Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival kicks off in Breckenridge today — where it will begin again after sixteen years in Vail. Although some of the festival events are sold out, there are various tappings and other beer-related activities around town today through Sunday. In addition, there are still a few tickets left for the commercial beer tasting on Saturday. Get more information at the fest's website.

click to enlarge Our Mutual Friend pays tribute to Dune with a new beer. - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND BREWING FACEBOOK PAGE
Our Mutual Friend pays tribute to Dune with a new beer.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing Facebook page
Friday, January 6
Platt Park Brewing will have a fresh batch of Pillow Fight Pilsner on tap today. "The German malt provides a great finish, and the Hallertau hops give a small bitterness to this easy drinking beer," the brewery says.

Join Our Mutual Friend Brewing for the release of its newest beer, Weirding Way, a Citra dry-hopped saison fermented with 100 percent Brettanomyces. "It's dry but beautifully complex, with notes of lemon, hay and pleasant farm funk, finished with citrusy hop character," the brewery says. It will be on draft, and there will be 100 Crowlers for sale starting at 2 p.m. Rezzy's Kitchen will be parked off the patio.

Comrade Brewing will tap a new beer today. Chocolate Porter, at 4.8 percent ABV, was brewed with "a rich blend of flaked barley, roasted and crystal malts. Lightly hopped with German Magnum hops and infused with a half barrel of Cholaca Pure Liquid Cacao from Boulder," the brewery says. "This porter is mahogany in color with rich, sweet aromatics and flavors of dark chocolate."

Cerebral Brewing will tap Remote Island, its newest DIPA today. "Brewed with oats and aggressively hopped ... with Galaxy, Motueka and Hallertau Blanc," Cerebral says. "Notes of guava, ripe melon, white grape and a hint of pine. This might just be our best DIPA yet." Burgerchief will be there from 3 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, January 7
Kokopelli Beer Company in Westminster will celebrate its third anniversary today and tomorrow by tapping a few new beers (some that are very limited). Festivities will also include live music and giveaways.

Tickets for the main commercial beer tasting at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival are still available on the festival's website for $75. This is the major event in the three-day festival, which moved from Vail to Breckenridge for the first time this year. Brewers from around Colorado, the nation and world bring out their rare and higher-alcohol beers for this intimate festival, one of the best in Colorado. There are hundreds of beers on tap from dozens of breweries. In addition, the festival includes many seminars, some of which are still available. Breweries will also host affiliated tap takeovers and tastings at bars and venues around the mountain town.

Sunday, January 8
Station 26 Brewing will host its first Bluegrass Brunch of the new year today starting at 11 a.m. There will be beer, live music from Follow the Fox, doughnuts from Glazed and Confuzed, and food from Turn-In BBQ.

click to enlarge Take the edge off with a Platt Park beer while getting your skis tuned. - PLATT PARK BREWING
Take the edge off with a Platt Park beer while getting your skis tuned.
Platt Park Brewing
Friday, January 13
Platt Park Brewing will host a Ski Waxing Party today at 4 p.m. with Rocky Mountain Ski Tunes. For $15, you get a pint, wax and light edging. The brewery will tap a firkin of Oatmeal Stout.

Saturday, January 14
Diebolt Brewing will ring in the new year with four different barrel-aged versions of its Imperial French Saison (bourbon, brandy, cabernet and rye whiskey); the 10 percent ABV base beer has notes of spice, candied citrus, burnt sugar and coffee, the brewery says. All four will be available in 22-ounce bottles to go and on tap. You can also pre-purchase bottles on Diebolt's website. The brewery is offering $60 packages (limited to twenty people) that include a bottle of each version, a three-ounce taster of each, and a 4 p.m. tour with owner Jack Diebolt, where you will taste a Brett-fermented beer out of the barrel.

New memberships for the 2017 River Norther Society at River North Brewery go on sale to the public today at noon. Find all the details on the brewery's website. In addition, River North will release two barrel-aged beers today: Single Cask Mr. Sandman, an American imperial stout aged in a single Kentucky straight-bourbon barrel; and Whiskey Barrel Aged J. Marie, an imperial saison aged in whiskey barrels.

Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette will release its latest taproom-only cans today at 1 p.m. This time around, it's Hop Hackin' Henry, an IPA designed "to showcase piney hops. Simcoe, Chinook and Eureka combine to create aromatics similar to what lumberjacks must smell every day," the brewery says. Six-packs will go for $11. There is a maximum of two cases per customer.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes